Everything’s coming up roses …

… Except the roses. And the roses look great, but it’s a bit too early for them to bloom. I cut most of the roses back severely a year ago, so I’ve not pruned them at all this year, and they’re covered in buds, ready to bloom in a few weeks. At every turn there…

Twenty-one and counting – part two

So, you’re looking to add a Japanese maple to your garden, or to add another one or two to your budding collection. There are many fine choices in the garden centers, and many dozens more available through mail order nurseries if you’e willing to start with a little guy. There are hundreds of named cultivars,…

Twenty-one and counting

Twenty-two years ago the garden was begun in a simple fashion, with a few shrubs, two white flowering dogwoods, and two Japanese maples planted in the front of the house. A rudimentary bluestone path was constructed through the mud from the gravel drive to the front porch. The maples were common cultivars, ‘Crimson Queen’ (Acer…

Dogwoods and other April bloomers

I cannot recall a spring when blooms of the native dogwoods have been so magnificent. Perhaps this is because gardeners tend to remember their miseries and failures rather than successes, but in any case, the dogwoods are perfect this April. Sadly, our native dogwoods is troubled by a variety of pests, so that it is…

No!

My young niece has an emphatic manner of saying “No!”, so that you are undeniably assured that this is the final answer, no matter the question. My wife adopted a similarly stern tone this winter whenever I excitedly told her my plans for the garden for the upcoming spring. Fortunately, I’m not easily discouraged. Admittedly, I…

Gone native

Yesterday’s strong thunderstorms soaked the garden so that there was standing water at the lower end of the back garden. Otherwise, there was no damage, though some of the pine bark chunks that mulch the new bed areas were washed out. I use the large chunk mulch because it is long-lasting, so long as it…

Green Day

Whenever there are a few moments between rainstorms this weekend I will need to spray the daylilies and a few other choice perennials with deer repellent. Many perennials will not have enough foliage until late in April, but the mixed border of daylilies along the lower side of the swimming pond has been nipped a…

Blooming in early April

With cooler than average temperatures over the past several weeks forsythias, flowering pears, magnolias, and cherries remain in bloom, though with warmer weather they will fade quickly. In my garden the uppermost branches of serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis, below) that reach into the sun have begun to bloom. The shaded lower branches will flower in a…

Early April in the garden

The blooms of ‘Merrill’ and ‘Royal Star’ magnolias opened fully a few days ago, just in time to be damaged by a series of cold nights. Not unusual, but I was hopeful that unblemished flowers would remain for a few days. The frost damaged edges of petals have browned, but the trees are still quite…

It’s all very confusing

My camellias are confused, at least the autumn blooming hybrids that flowered a bit in November, but are now beginning to bloom again in early April. This is not so unusual, though I’ll not attempt to explain the phenomena for fear that it will confirm that I’m a complete idiot. Anyone who has followed these…